Hangover: Three simple ways to prevent symptoms on New Year’s Day

This Morning: Dr Zoe explains ulcers after coffee and alcohol

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The reason why a night out leaves you with an unwanted souvenir the next morning is the effect of ethanol on your body. This toxic chemical is a diuretic, which takes water out of your body, making you pee more. But you can also get dehydrated which might lead to some unpleasant symptoms the next day.

If you’re planning to have more than the midnight glass of champagne, you should:

  • Drink plenty of water
  • Eat some dairy
  • Avoid dark alcohol.

Sticking to these three simple rules could help prevent an unwanted hangover.

The rule about water probably comes as no surprise. Because alcohol is a diuretic, making you dehydrated, refilling your fluids can be key.


This might be the most important step as dehydration is the main culprit behind many unpleasant hangover symptoms, Drinkaware reports.

So, anything from nausea, headache and tiredness could be prevented by making sure you drink enough water.

You should have plenty of this hydrating liquid on the night in between your drinks as this can help avoid dehydration.

Another good tip is to have a lot of water just before you go to sleep, the charity advises. You might also want to keep a glass by your bed.

Eat some dairy

New Year’s Eve celebrations are often accompanied by various nibbles. 

Making sure some dairy products are part of the set-up could also help.

The number one rule, of course, is not to drink on an empty stomach but having some dairy like milk or yoghurt will help line your stomach, according to BBC Goodfood.

This can be anything from having cheese and crackers, a small pot of yoghurt, or drinking some milk.

Avoid dark alcohol

This might come as disappointing news to all the whiskey and scotch fans out there, but dark alcohol can make your hangover worse.

This is all because of compounds called congeners found in darker drinks.

Congeners are formed during the fermentation and distilling process of alcohol. And they are also linked to worse hangovers.

Methanol is one congener that breaks down into the toxins, formaldehyde and formic acid, causing worse hangovers, the Mayo Clinic explains.

This means that opting for light-coloured beverages could help. But drinking any kind of alcohol is not the best way to prevent hangovers.

You also shouldn’t mix your drinks and binge – drink large amounts over a short period of time – as this can lead to alcohol poisoning, the NHS warns.

If you do drink, stick to the guidelines which encourage not to have more than 14 units of alcohol per week.

Generally, it takes about one hour for your liver to process one unit of alcohol, so leaving enough time before your last drink and bedtime could also help.

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